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McConnell shrugs off Trump concession delay

"President Trump is 100 percent within his rights," the top Senate Republican said of the continued objections by the president.
Image: Mitch McConnell, Washington
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with reporters after he spoke on the Senate floor Monday.Susan Walsh / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday hailed Republican victories in last week's election before saying President Donald Trump was right not to concede the presidential race because no states have certified their results yet.

"According to preliminary results, voters across the nation elected and re-elected Republican senators to a degree that actually stunned prognosticators. Likewise, the American people seem to have reacted to House Democrats' radicalism and obstruction by shrinking the speaker's majority and electing more Republicans," McConnell, R-Ky., who was re-elected last week, said on the Senate floor.

President-elect Joe Biden has captured almost 5 million more votes than Trump and was projected as the winner Saturday after Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes put him over the 270 needed to win. While numerous world leaders have congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, only a handful of Republicans have done so.

"Obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track to a recount, and I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states," McConnell said before echoing a line used by other top Republicans in recent days.

"President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options," McConnell said. "Suffice it to say, a few legal inquiries from the president do not exactly spell the end of the republic."

McConnell did not acknowledge Biden's win, instead saying the "Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations."

He also chastised Democrats, saying, "Let's not have any lectures, no lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called claims of widespread voter fraud by Trump and his supporters "dangerous" and "extremely poisonous."

"As in any campaign, the president has a right to bring legal challenges or request recounts where state law allows. However, there is no legal right to file frivolous claims. Lawsuits must have basis in facts and evidence. And make no mistake, there has been no evidence of any significant or widespread voter fraud. Joe Biden won this election fair and square. The margins of his victory are growing by the day," Schumer said.

He acknowledged that there is "no law or requirement" that Trump "concede or leave the office with grace," but he said history will "surely note how this president and his Republican allies here in Congress treated our democracy on his way out the door."